Central Perk : A tour of Singapore’s new F.R.I.E.N.D.S-themed cafe

It was a dream come true for fans of the hit American 90’s sitcom F.R.I.E.N.D.S, when Central Perk Cafe opened in Singapore in November last year. Its burgeoning popularity ever since could be accredited to word of mouth, social media and well – just plain old nostalgia. It all started when 28-year-old Mit Jin pitched the idea on international crowd-funding platform Indiegogo. And it was a decision he would never regret. With a long list of enthused investors and an official license from Warner Bros, he was on a roll. And he still is.

How did you make this happen? 

I used to be a headhunter. Six years ago, I went to China on an internship and saw a F.R.I.E.N.D.S imitation cafe. People were sitting around, enjoying a cup of coffee and watching the show. The experience stayed with me. I’ve always been a huge fan of the show, and I wondered if I could bring the concept to Singapore. But I never knew there was any real demand.

Go on?

So one day I was interviewing this candidate for Grab. He had some experience in the space of mobile, cafe marketing. He pointed me in the direction of crowd-funding. And when I explored it, I realized what a powerful marketing tool it was. I produced and uploaded a pitch video on Indiegogo, and it got viral. A lot of investors started showing an interest.

img_2712
Mit Jin and me

How did you decide on the layout?

We brainstormed through hundreds of ideas. But none of those really matched up to the expectations of F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Finally, we decided to replicate the entire studio. So now, we have Ross’ corner, Monica’s kitchen, Chandler and Joey’s foosball table…

Say no more. Let’s take a tour and see them for real!

Alright then. Let’s go (smiles).

pjimage-2
The original couch in F.R.I.E.N.D.S (top) and the one in Central Perk (bottom)
IMG_2713.JPG
What a paleontologist wants: Ross’ corner
IMG_2720.JPG
School friends Jazzica, Jolie, Anjali, Francesca and Erica enjoy a cuppa in Monica’s impeccable kitchen. And who could forget Ms Pac-Man?
IMG_2726 (2).JPG
What is Phoebe’s corner without Smelly Cat and Gladys?
IMG_2723.JPG
Chandler and Joey’s foosball table
3.jpg
The girls of Central Perk love Rachel’s wedding dress. But who doesn’t?

If you think that was cool, it gets even better. The recipes and flavors used in the menu items reflect the personalities of the characters. Rachel ‘Green’ salad, Phoebe’s Nutty vegetarian salad and Janice’s ‘Oh My God’ Baby Black Ribs are just a few examples. As US video blogger and YouTuber Steve puts it, “This place is great! With the theme, the TVs, the props, the food. I especially liked the concept of blending character themes and personalities into the food and flavor.”

IMG_2728.JPG
Video blogger and YouTuber Steve, reviewing the cafe with a friend. (YouTube channel: Exploring With Steve)
pjimage (3).jpg
Excerpt from the coffee menu
11
Season 5 Episode 8: The One With All The Thanksgivings
13
Season 8 Episode 9: The Rumor

You’ll definitely love it if you are a fan of the show. Even if you aren’t, I say give it a shot. 

Contact
Phone: 90252524
Emailhowyoudoin@centralperk.sg
Address: 1 Magazine Road, Central Mall #01-01 Singapore 059567
Website: http://centralperk.sg
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/centralperksingapore

Operating hours: Sundays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays 11 am to 11 pm; Fridays and Saturdays open till late. Closed on Mondays.

End

 

Author: Swarnima Korde

Engineer. Story-teller. Listener. Writer.

4 thoughts on “Central Perk : A tour of Singapore’s new F.R.I.E.N.D.S-themed cafe”

  1. Wow..wonderful cafe…will definitely like to spend an evening in the such cafe with my family..chitchat with munching…good luck
    Thanks for writing blogs swarnima ..your blogs are really giving good idea and informations….keep it up👍

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Mami! Yes it is a wonderful concept, fans of the show can watch reruns of their favourite episodes and relive old memories with friends. The decor, the rooms are a replica of the show. There was a similar concept in London, but this is the only one to be officially sponsored by Warner Bros 🙂 We must visit it together sometime 🙂

      Like

  2. The cafe looks wonderful. Mit Jin’s idea and making it a reality at such young age is exemplary. May the cafe become as popular as the serial!
    Well written, Swarnima! I was planning to visit you sometime in March. Your write up has tempted me to advance my plans.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s